Returning to his hometown of Godthorne with the hope of stopping the nightmares that have haunted his dreams since childhood. Julian finding himself mixed up in the disappearance of one girl and the death of two others. Much like his previous novel Don’t Look Back, author Ben Cheetham has no issue dreaming up interesting stories. His problems seem to arise when he tries to bring them to a close. Either packed with cliches like Don’t Look Back or in the case of Mr Moonlight, plain infuriating.
I wanted to give Cheetham a second chance. After all, every author can have an off day, which is part of the reason I read Mr Moonlight, but also because the synopsis intrigued me; a man haunted by nightmares, a serial killer and mysterious deaths/disappearances, what’s not to like? And for the vast majority of the story, I was hooked!. Cheetham developed the characters excellently, and the mysteries were puzzling.
“There’s a darkness lurking under the surface of Julian Harris. Every night in his dreams, he becomes a different person, a monster capable of evil beyond comprehension.”
– Ben Cheetham, Mr Moonlight
Where the story falls down is a twist that you could see coming a mile off and a last few pages that completely let down all the character growth Cheetham had worked so hard to develop.
It was at that point I realised what my problem with Cheetham’s writing was. He writes stories like they’re a B-Movie horror tales. Using sex and drugs for impact and a introducing a final twist that leaves the story open for a sequel if the first is a success.
Another issue I found with the story was the inclusion of characters that bring nothing to the overall plot such as the former love interest, or the childhood best friend, both of which disappear from the plot around three quarter mark without so much as a goodbye, leaving you wondering what their purpose to the story was, other than adding a little exposition early on in the book.
In the end, Mr Moonlight is the kinda average crime-mystery with a tinge of the supernatural that would be perfect for a middle-of-the-road TV drama adaptation, but as far as entertaining reads go, there are plenty of much more enjoyable and satisfying books out there.